Public Administration
Master of Public Administration

Take your career to the next level with a Master of Public Administration (MPA) degree from UTSA. Students benefit from a range of community partnerships with local government and nonprofit agencies.

Our graduates help our community address some of its most pressing challenges: housing and food insecurity, health disparities, land use, transportation, the digital divide and others. You can also add a Graduate Certificate in Nonprofit Administration and Leadership to further enhance your degree.

And with flexible class options, you can make your degree work on your time. Prepare for leadership and enhance your career with an MPA from UTSA.

Start your MPA application here

The Master of Public Administration (MPA) program is fully accredited by the National Association of Schools of Public Affairs and Administration (NASPAA).

Our Mission: The UTSA MPA program contributes to regional governance by educating skilled and responsible leaders and managers for the public and non-profit sectors. The program faculty, comprised of academics and practitioners, guide students to broaden their world views and develop their analytical and decision-making skills through teaching informed by community-relevant research and public sector experience. The MPA course of study enables a diverse body of pre-service and mid-career students who are passionate about public service to improve their organizations and communities. The program empowers students to fulfill their potential as ethical public servants who formulate and solve complex problems collaboratively. Possessing breadth of management and analytical knowledge, MPA graduates: are cognizant of the diversity of values, interests, and stakeholders; address public issues with effectiveness, professional skill and transparency; and, advocate and implement public policies for the advancement of justice, fairness, and democracy.

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Policy

View current MPA Graduation & Employment Data 

Branden Dross“After I graduated with my BPAP, I decided to pursue my graduate education by attaining the Master of Public Administration. The undergraduate program helped me understand city management and urban development. The graduate program helped me understand policy and theory in a way I had never thought about in local government. It really set me up for success.”

– Brandon Dross ’16, ’18 MPA, City Manager, Herington, KS

MPA Program info

To qualify for admission, applicants must:
  • satisfy University-wide graduate admission requirements including;
    • earning a baccalaureate degree from a regionally accredited ­college or university in the United States or have proof of equivalent training at a foreign institution.
    • a minimum grade point average of at least 3.0 (on a 4.0 scale) from an awarded master’s or bachelor’s degree.
    • completing at least 18 semester credit hours (12 of which must be at the upper-division level) or foreign institution equivalent coursework in the area or areas in which the graduate degree is sought or in related areas as determined by the Graduate Program Committee for the proposed major.
    • submission of a UTSA graduate application and fee.
  • complete (or have completed) an undergraduate course in U.S. government or politics (3 hours).
  • submit a letter of intent.
    • The 500 word letter of intent should state the applicant’s reasons for pursuing the M.P.A., how their educational and/or career experience has prepared them for the M.P.A. program, and how the degree will help the applicant achieve her or his goals.
  • submit two letters of recommendation are required from persons familiar with the applicants academic and/or work abilities (normally, professors and/or work supervisors).
Applicants may be admitted as unconditional, conditional, or special graduate students. Admission as a special graduate student does not guarantee subsequent admission as a degree-seeking student; such students must reapply for degree-seeking status. VIP Admissions Program for Current UTSA Students and Alumni Request Information from the UTSA Graduate School
Scholarships: For competitive scholarships, please refer to the UTSA Scholarship HUB. Graduate Research Assistantships: Funding is normally available for a limited number of Graduate Research Assistants (GRA). GRAs assist faculty members on their research projects. GRA openings are generally announced near or at a semester’s start by email or within the classroom. Students interested in working as a GRA may email the following to the Department’s administrative staff: (1) a cover letter specifying your interest and background and, (2) a current resume. Cost of Attendance Fiscal Services Tuition & Fees
The minimum number of semester credit hours required for the degree, exclusive of coursework or other study required to remove deficiencies, is 40. In addition to these basic degree requirements, students without previous work experience that supports attainment of careers and leadership roles in public and nonprofit organizations must complete an additional 6 semester credit hours of PAD 6963 Internship or PAD 6966 Internship; 46 credit hours are required for students without prior work experience.
For a complete listing of courses that satisfy degree requirements see the UTSA Graduate Catalog. MPA Student Handbook

Graduate Certificate in Nonprofit Administration and Leadership

The Graduate Certificate in Nonprofit Administration and Leadership (NPAL) is a 15-semester-credit-hour program offered by the Department of Public Administration established to provide students who are currently managing or working in the nonprofit sector, or who seek careers in the nonprofit sector, with essential management skills and a foundation in the theory and values fortifying the nonprofit sector in America.

The certificate enables graduate students with good academic standing from multiple program areas to develop their expertise, explore the current issues facing the sector, enhance their employment opportunities with nonprofit and public agencies, and meet the growing complexity and demands of the nonprofit sector.

For a complete listing of courses that satisfy degree requirements see the UTSA Graduate Catalog.

For currently enrolled UTSA graduate students*: Students currently enrolled in a graduate degree program must be in good academic standing. The student should contact the Program Advisor of the Graduate Certificate in Nonprofit Administration and Leadership Program and complete the intent form. For new students: Students who are not currently enrolled in a graduate degree program are required to apply for admission to UTSA as a special graduate student and to indicate their intent to seek admission into a certificate program. Applicants will be required to meet University admission requirements for special graduate students.
If it is determined by the Graduate Certificate in Nonprofit Administration and Leadership Program Advisor that a student requires prerequisite background courses to adequately prepare for the courses included in the Graduate Certificate in Nonprofit Administration and Leadership Program, this will be noted in the student’s file. The student will be notified that the prerequisite courses must be taken before enrolling in Graduate Certificate in Nonprofit Administration and Leadership Program coursework or within the first semester of coursework. For specifics on the Certificate Program, contact Patricia Jaramillo, 210-458-2716, *Please note:  Current UTSA graduate students who complete their degree program before the certificate program must reapply as a special/non-degree student in order to finish required certificate program coursework, per the graduate school.

For more information, contact:

Department of Public Administration
Durango Building (Downtown Campus) DB 4.110
Patricia Jaramillo, PhD

Department of Public Administration

Phone: 210-458-2534
Fax: 210-458-2536
Location: DB 4.114
The University of Texas at San Antonio
One UTSA Circle
San Antonio, TX 78249-1644